The FBI on Tuesday warned energy companies to be on the lookout for unusual scanning activity from Russian IP addresses.
In an alert, the FBI posted 140 IP addresses it has identified that have scanned five U.S. energy companies and at least 18 U.S. companies in other sectors, including the defense industrial base, financial services and information technology.
''While other U.S. critical infrastructure sectors have noticed abnormal scanning, the focus appears to be on entities within the energy sector,'' the alert said.
''These Russia-based IP addresses are believed to be associated with cyber actors who previously conducted destructive cyber activity against foreign critical infrastructure,'' according to the FBI alert. ''Present activity of these IP addresses likely indicates early stages of reconnaissance, scanning networks for vulnerabilities for use in potential future intrusions.''
U.S. energy sector entities should examine their network traffic for these IP addresses and conduct follow-up investigations if they are found, the FBI said.
The scanning activity goes back as far as March 2021, but has increased since Russia's invasion of Ukraine and sanctions on Russia from the United States.
''While the FBI recognizes that scanning activity is common on a network, these reported IPs have been previously identified as conducting activity in conjunction with active exploitation of a foreign victim, which resulted in destruction of the victim's systems,'' the alert said.
Detection of the IP addresses should be reported to local FBI field offices or the FBI’s 24/7 Cyber Watch (CyWatch).
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